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Gourd Container/Doll

Tanzania - H: 28 CM

Finely Decorated Gourd Container/Doll. Fipa Culture, Western Tanzania


The surface of this phallic-shaped gourd container is delicately engraved with figurative, floral and geometry imagery. The shape of a cross is carved into the container’s wooden stopper, which adorns the top of the gourd. Finely etched geometric patterns decorate the top and bottom of the gourd, and frame beautiful engravings of male and female figures holding various objects.

The gourd’s association with fertility meant that it would have probably been given as a gift to a young girl acting also as a doll, and subsequently kept in her possession in the household. A woven fibre traditional restoration, in which a series of stitches are used to repair a crack in the gourd’s surface, is material testimony of the value it would have held. 


Estimated Period: 1960’s

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H: 28 CM
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